Cruises combine great food, terrific entertainment, and incredible travel with excellent accommodations, but the experience of working on a ship is very different from being a passenger.
- Often, the pay is minimal for hard and constant work twenty-four hours a day.
- Most Cruise ships are operated out of the Caribbean, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, Philippines, and Asia.
- You must be eager to work with multinational passengers and employees.
- Most ship jobs are held by employees from third world and Southern European countries.
- Americans tend to participate in the entertainment, physical fitness, and the sports aspects of job opportunities.
- Most cruise jobs tend to be temporary or transition jobs for the majority of Americans who typically work 3-5 years for a cruise line.
- The constant travel and separation from families can be a difficult strain.
Generally, cruise ships have three levels of employment:
- Usually no Americans working at this level.
- Wait persons; cooks, cleaners, dishwashers.
- Crew members live in small quarters, eat different food and are generally barred from dealing with passengers.
- Most Americans will find employment here.
- Opportunities include: children's counselors, actors, performers, casino personnel, fitness directors, diving instructors, photographers, gift shop sales staff, etc.
- Always from the country in which the ship is registered, therefore US citizens can only be officers on American ships.
- Usually have Coast Guard or Navy training.
Read the instructions for applying for the jobs and follow them carefully. Make sure you meet all deadlines and send all the information requested. Click on the following cruise lines for more information about their ships and personnel operations and requirements.
Holland America Line
Royal Caribbean International
Disney Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines